Ever get the feeling that every time you go on Instagram, someone is flaunting a newly plumped pout back at you? It’s not surprising. Lip fillers are everywhere at the moment. And looking at the work of Kylie Jenner’s expert medical team, it’s hard not to be tempted to get in on the action.
But getting lip fillers is a big decision. And unfortunately, it’s a side of the beauty industry that is completely unregulated. At the moment, there is no law that says only medical professionals are allowed to inject filler, and there are plenty of cowboys hoping to take advantage of the trend for buxom, kissable lips.
And we can pretty much guarantee that women who get fillers have no idea what exactly is being injected into them.
So, if you’re a filler virgin looking to get the treatment for the first time, ask yourself these six important questions first…
1. Who should I get to do my fillers?
“It is important to do your research to find a qualified and insured medical practitioner, ideally seeing photos of their work or being recommended is best,” says Natali Kelly, a nurse practitioner who offer fillers at Omniya Clinic in London.
“Lips are very complex to inject, although practitioners can go on a day course and start performing these treatments. You want to choose someone who has an aesthetic eye and who delivers natural and elegant results.”
It’s also important to check that the clinic is registered with the Care Quality Commission, and to ask your practitioner what they will do if things go wrong.
2. What are they injecting into my face?
There are so many different types of filler on the market, and while you probably aren’t going to know the difference between them, it’s good to go knowing what sort of thing you should expect.
“Most practitioners use a collagen or hyaluronic acid based filler,” explains Dr Tijion Esho, whose patients include Katie Piper and Vicky Pattison. “Collagen works by purely plumping the lip, whilst hyaluronic acid work by plumping but also trapping water within the lips for a natural pout.”
Kelly recommends an HA filler, as does Dr Maryam Zamani, who practices at the luxury Cadogan Clinic in Chelsea. “It is best for the patient to have fillers that have been well tested and tried as a benchmark, such as the Juvederm and Restylane ranges,” she says.
Although you may not know the difference between the brands, it could be worth asking to see the bottle, “so you can be sure,” says Dr Dennis Wolf, cosmetic doctor at The Private Clinic of Harley Street.
3. How many treatments will I need?
Hyaluronic acid lip fillers are only temporary, as HA is a natural substance and is eventually broken down and reabsorbed into the body. If you want to keep your new pout, expect to need a top up every four to six months.
But for the first time, you might still be looking at a few sessions. “One of the biggest things that people often don’t realise with lip augmentation is that achieving the look you want won’t necessarily happen overnight,” explains Dr Esho. “If you have very thin lips but want a very full but natural look, this can take a few sessions and therefore be more expensive. The key is building layers in stages.” Discuss this with your doctor during your consultation.
4. What’s their complication rate?
Like any medical procedure, having lip fillers comes with some risks. “Side effects can range from infection, bleeding, bruising and asymmetry of the lips, to lumps, granulomas (lumps of tissue), skin necrosis (death of the skin tissue), and blindness,” explains Dr Wolf.
Be sure to have a thorough consultation with your practitioner before you actually have the treatment. It’s at this stage your practitioner will explain the possible side effects, and Dr Wolf says that a good one “will be honest with you about all the risks involved during your consultation”.
“It’s important to note that ethical practitioners will never treat you on the same day [as your consultation],” he adds.
5. How do I know if something has gone wrong?
Some tenderness and swelling around the lips just after your treatment is to be expected. “However excessive pain, blue-ish or purple discolouration or blanching of the skin around the injection can be signs of trouble,” says Dr Zamani. If this happens, she says, it’s see a doctor as soon as possible.
Dr Esho warns that if the swelling and tenderness around the injection site continues to get worse even if you’ve take an anti-inflammatory or applied ice, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction, so you should contact your doctor straightaway.
6. How much does it cost?
This is a very important one. Prices for lip fillers will vary around the country and from clinic to clinic, depending on the expertise of the doctor and the type and amount of product used. Dr Wolf says you could pay anything from around £200 upwards for lip fillers, while Dr Esho says you should expect to pay £350-£400 per 1ml of filler for a high quality injector.
What’s important is to make sure you’re not paying too little. Yes, everyone loves a bargain. But no decent injector will be offering fillers for £99. “The price should reflect the product being used and the practitioner’s experience,” says Kelly. “Correcting a bad job can end up being even more expensive.”
Would you try lip filler? Let us know @YahooStyleUK